In Islam, is it permissible to donate your organs after death?


Is it haram/halal to become an organ donor?

The majority of the Indo/Pak scholars are of the view that organ transplant is not permissible, while, the Arab scholars and some scholars of the Indian subcontinent give its permission under certain conditions

1) The view of impermissibility

The human body and parts are not in our ownership in that we may fiddle with them as we desire. It is a trust that has been given to us by Allah Almighty. As such, it will be impermissible for one to sell, give or donate any organs of his body. Islam has forbidden suicide for the same reason. There are many texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah that clearly determine this. Thus, it will be unlawful for one to give his organs to another.

It is unlawful for an individual to inflict harm upon himself or others. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “It is unlawful to inflict harm upon your self and others.(Mustadrak of al-Hakim)

A human body is sacred even after his/her death. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “Breaking the bone of a dead person is similar (in sin) to breaking the bone of a living person”. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Sunan Ibn Majah & Musnad Ahmad).

The Hadith shows that the bone of a dead person has the same sanctity and honour as the bone of living person. (Mushkil al-Athar).

In another Hadith it is stated: “Harming a believer after his death is similar to harming him in his life”. (Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shayba).

2) The view of permissibility

Firstly, it is true that a human body, whether dead or alive, is honoured and respected, but does the modern procedure violate this sanctity? Islam ordered us to honour a human body but did not prescribe any fixed methods for it. Disgracing a human body may change from one time to another and from one place to another.

Thus, it could be said that the current procedure of organ transplantation is not considered dishonouring a human body. The surgery is performed in the most respectable way and it is not considered to be disrespectful. This is the reason why many highly respected people of the community regard donating of organs as a mark of merit, and they are not looked down upon.

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